Elena

Elena

 

Elena, the protagonist in The Fairy Godmother by Mercedes Lackey. The story follows Cinderella after she finds out her prince charming isn’t coming. This outfit is fit for mingling with royalty but still has the extra something fitting of someone of Elena’s rank.
As Always, Stay Strong and Shine Brilliantly. You Got This!
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Clary Goodwin

Clary Goodwin

 

Clary Goodwin, the seasoned dog from Terrier by Tamora Pierce.
Goodwin is a dog, the worlds version of police, set to train Beka Cooper (the protaginist) and hunt down criminals in the poorest part of the city. She may be gruff on the outside but she is also loyal and protective of her friends and family. Do you have a mentor like this?
As Always, Stay Strong and Shine Brilliantly!

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Donovan Caine

Donovan Caine

 

Donovan Caine, the cop stuck in a hard place. He’s the romantic interest from Spider’s Bite by Jennifer Estep. I don’t think Donovan knows if he wants to arrest or kiss Gin.
As Always, Stay Strong and Shine Brilliantly!

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Confessions of an Ugly Stepsister

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I give this story 6 stars out of 10
For ages 18 and over
Recommended for fans of Mirror Mirror by Gregory Maguire and Ever After: A Cinderella Story

Okay, So I actually read this book months ago. However when I finished it I wasn’t sure how I felt about it. On one hand it is a brand new take on an old tale, but on the other it leaves a lot of questions that aren’t present in the original tales. In Confessions from the Ugly Stepsister the characters are all on the moral gray spectrum. The characters are flawed and the problems they face are the same problems we see all around us. The perfect example of this is Margarethe, the “villain” of the book. She is seen as the woman fleeing persecution with two children, doing everything they can to keep them alive. Yet she is also portrayed as a witch who killed Henriette and might have been responsible for Jack Fisher’s death. All of the characters are complex including Clara. IMG_4820
Clara is Cinderella in this story. She is normally portrayed as a kindhearted and hardworking girl; not in this version. Clara is spoiled and rude in this version. She is sheltered and refuses to leave the house, becoming a shut in. She has a sharp tongue and is afraid of everything, but how did she get this way? It is slowly revealed that she was kidnapped when she was young and due to that her parents locked her away and made her dependent on them for everything. The story is turned to a tale of abuse. Some self-inflicted, but most from others for reasons beyond her control. Cinderella becomes less of a heroine destined for greatness, and more of a victim going from abuser to abuser.
Unfortunately, it is not just Clara that is abused throughout the book. Ruth and Iris, her “ugly” stepsisters, are abused too. Iris is shamed in front of everyone for her lack of outer beauty and emotionally manipulated by her mother into giving up her dreams. While Ruth is punished with violence and verbally abused for most of the book, she is treated like an idiot and animal. Ableism, discrimination based on disabilities, is a large issue with Ruth throughout the book and it is never addressed it is in part what leads to Ruth’s abuse. The abuse is made to seem nurturing and like it is for their own good. Simply because they are different is makes it okay. The casualness of the abuse is appalling.
IMG_4821In stark contrast to the abuse, beauty is the main theme. Who is the ugly stepsister? Is outward beauty truly the only important thing? Not only that but why is outward beauty so highly valued? The example is the tulips and Clara. The tulips are beautiful on the outside but produce no scent, such as how Clara has a horrid personality but is beautiful. Then compare Iris, ugly on the outside but talented and kind inside to the wildflowers that smell beautiful and add light to the rooms. Both girls have value but which one is ugly?

Discussion Questions:

Explain the role of the imp throughout the story?
What motivates the girl’s actions throughout the book?
Define beauty and what makes a person beautiful.
Why is the abuse underplayed?

What did you think about Confessions of an Ugly Stepsister?  Did you agree or disagree with this review? Let me know in the comments, and don’t forget to subscribe to keep up to date.

As always, Stay Strong and Shine Brilliantly!

Bertie

Bertie
Bertie, from a new take on Rumpelstiltskin.

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Sophia

Sophia
Sophia, the tough as nails cook.

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Bria Coolidge

Bria Coolidge
Bria Coolidge, the cop with a cool shot

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Daine

Daine
Daine, the hero with wild magic and an amazing shot.

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Shahrazad

Shahrazad
Shahrazad, the sultana with 1001 stories.

Alanna: The Lioness

Alanna: The Lioness
Alanna: The Lioness, a knight with a noble heart with a quick mind

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